Saturday, October 31, 2009

Peak hour travelling

Whole of my student life I have had the luxury to go to the city at non-peak hour timings and consciously avoiding the crowd. My air travel also has always been intentionally on weekdays (Wednesday/ Thursday mornings), so much so that I had gotten used to the fact that I would get personal attention in the economy class, sleep on three seats while paying for one and I would not have to stand in lines for security clearance.

Today however seemed to be one of those very noisy days. I had these bunch of Indian tourists on their way back from what looked like a very tiring vacation. All kids between the age of 0 to 10 were very irritated and had been crying at the drop of a hat. The few who were not were running around the waiting area including one kid who tripped on my carelessly left cabin bag. Before he could start crying however, I gave him the scary look (the “mean-uncle-who-hates-kids” look) and I guess that made him run for cover to his mom where he must have complained about me.

Have been travelling by Air India on the Mumbai-Singapore sector for quite a while now and have been generally pleased with their service. Today too our aircraft boarded and left on time! However unlike my other peaceful journeys, this time around I had a 4-8 year old looking geek kid as a neighbor. This guy had accumulated all the questions he ever had in his life to be asked to his patient dad only in the 5 hour journey that he had to sit next to me. Even before the aircraft took off, he already had asked a barrage of very intelligent (but completely useless) questions to his dad (reminded me of Calvin’s dad). Once in the air he was monitoring the aircraft speed, outside temperature and the world map. I could overhear intelligent statements like “Dad, the outside temperature is –5 degree centigrade, then why is there no ice on our aircraft?”, “Dad, if we are flying at 800 km/hr how much distance does the plane travel before it can turn?”. The dad was ofcourse conscious of the fact that I was intently listening to his answers so he was often found mumbling answers that were unintelligible to me. Now I can really understand how my parents felt when I went around asking them all those useless questions as a 3 year old. No wonder, my dad had a receding hairline immediately after I started speaking ;) !!

If this guy was not enough, there was a 1 something kid on the sit ahead of me, who thought that aircrafts are meant for crying. The moment his mom fastened his seat belt he started crying, and didn’t stop till she unfastened it again on landing in India. So much for a 5 hour peaceful sleep for me :( !! All in all, I decided I will carry my Media player on my next flight so that I can listen to Yanni or someone as I struggle to catch up on my sleep.

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